Our logo was last updated in 2007, the same year Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone.1
Back then the change represented a welcome return to recognizing both of the university’s primary predecessor institutions.
But as Case Western Reserve engaged in more institutional collaborations within and beyond the region, the logo’s shortcomings became increasingly clear.
While inarguably elegant, its thin letters made the university’s name easy to miss when among peers with bolder styles. With the horizontal line and ‘EST. 1826’ on the bottom, it became even harder to discern.
Sixteen years later, Case Western Reserve can point to a more unified community, much-improved stature and dynamic new leadership. The time is right to transition to a logo that stands out in a crowd—in the very best way.
1 That world-changing device is now on Version 14.
“Cleveland’s winters are bleak enough.”
Those are just a few of the comments we heard about Case Western Reserve’s existing hues during early focus groups and interviews for this update. Having inherited navy, dark gray and black as primary colors, we heartily agreed.
Now in their place are the far-brighter CWRU Blue, plus a handful of azure shades a tad darker and lighter.
We round out the scheme with tertiary tints designed to offer accents that pop—‘vivid green,’ ‘terracotta orange’ and the like.
The overall goal? To inspire, excite and convey the kind of energy that best characterizes today’s campus.
Today the university has variations of the basic horizontal logo for individual entities that are (or were) part of Case Western Reserve. Add in different versions of files—stacked vs. horizontal, regular and reversed—and the number of files climbs five-fold.
As a result, our top priority has been to finalize and upload all versions of university logos—e.g., horizontal, stacked, centered, etc., and each with blue letters on white and also reversed (i.e., white letters).
In addition, we have uploaded horizontal versions of school logos and those of major administrative units. These are available now in WebDAM.
With regard to centers and institutes, University Marketing and Communications is collaborating with the Office of the Provost to determine which entities still exist and, if so, which qualify for center (or institute) status. In some instances, the answer to each question will be an obvious “yes”—those will be the first added to the system. We expect horizontal versions of the ‘obvious yes’ logos to be available after the July 4 holiday.
Additional updates regarding logo availability will appear in The Daily during the summer.
UMC has provided university- and school-level templates to our Printing Services partners at FedEx. Their staff is in the process of implementing these templates to make them available for ordering by authorized members of the university community. We will update the community in The Daily as soon as these become available.
Absolutely not. In an institution as large and complex as ours, the brand roll-out is a process—not a simple flip of a switch. We recognize that some areas will have existing materials featuring the 2007 logo; trashing or shredding them now would be a waste of institutional resources.
You have a few options. First, you may want to consider adopting a digital-first approach, as the university did for the 2023 Commencement; this choice eliminates the need for lead time in printing (and, if applicable, mailing).
Second, you could use the new colors and university/related school logo, and simply cite the name of your department or center as host within the program’s text.
Third, you can use your unit’s old logo until your new version is available on WebDAM.
As noted previously, UMC is creating thousands of variations of different units’ logos; staff are following a process that prioritizes primary (e.g., horizontal) versions of the logo for the university’s largest and/or most prominent campus entities. Subsequent phases will follow a similar approach, while also including additions of other versions of logos for those initial larger/more prominent units.
Given the volume and complexity of this process—both in terms of numbers of units and logo options—UMC cannot respond to one-off requests. If the logo version you wish to use is not yet available on WebDAM, please follow the guidance provided in the response to question 7.
In the very near future, you will not be able to use the 2007 logos or colors; that said, if the logo for your area is not yet available on WebDAM, you are permitted to use a version of the 2007 logo.
Keep in mind, however, that as new logo versions are added to WebDAM, their predecessors will be removed and will not be approved through the merchandising-approval process.
Yes, these brand guidelines apply to all uses of the university's visual identity across all forms of communication executed by any unit of the university, including websites.
All university templates built within University Marketing and Communications’ Drupal content management system now reflect the visual identity updates, including logos, colors and font updates. All updates are in compliance with federal accessibility regulations. Those sites not built within university templates will be updated in coordination with the units responsible for them.
The short answer is “never.” As Case Western Reserve launches new centers, institutes or departments, UMC will create new logos for them.
In terms of the overall transition from our previous visual identity to this new one, timelines are still being determined. It’s one thing to develop and add all of the versions of logos to WebDAM, but entirely another to update all of the university’s signage, banners, uniforms and other merchandise.
Campus leaders are working to develop schedules and budgets to determine how and when respective transitions take place.
Additional updates will appear in The Daily.